Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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March 19, 4 PM ET: Pope Francis Invites World to Pray About Coronavirus

Peace and blessings to you as we face the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic together.

Maybe you are experiencing isolation and fear like never before. Please know, just as you have been there for the Maryknoll Office whenever we have called for solidarity and action, we are here for you.

Take action: Pope Francis calls for Worldwide Prayer

The Holy Father invites us all – “every family, every faithful, every religious community” – to join him in praying the rosary today, Thursday, March 19, at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. The pope asks us to pray for “our families, especially the sick and the people who are taking care of them: doctors, nurses, and volunteers, who risk their lives in this service.” Click here to learn how to pray the rosary

Maryknoll Missioners in Asia have been living with the reality of this virus for months now.

Father Brian Barrows in the northeastern Chinese city of Jilin has had to teach classes online and say goodbye to many former students who have gone to Wuhan, the city at the epicenter of the virus, to serve as nurses. “Keep these great kids in your prayers!” he asks.

We all are living in this new reality now.

Returned Lay Missioner Barbara Fraser writes in Catholic News Service about her concerns for her elderly father in the United States and her struggles to reach him by phone and mail from Peru, where the borders are now closed.

Lay Missioner Maria Montello in Cambodia, like so many of us, was struck by the intensity of the world’s response to the virus. She wrote about it in an article on our website, asking “What if our response to environmental destruction was on the same scale as COVID-19?”

We hold them and you in our prayers. The Maryknoll Sisters offer this prayer on Instagram.

“Prayer changes us and we change things”

You’ve probably heard this quote from Mother Teresa before. “I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I'm supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I'm praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”

May prayer change us so that we may respond to those in need. May our hearts, minds, and souls be united with the world.


P.S. – Join us at 12 Noon on April 10 for a Virtual Good Friday Economic and Ecological Way of the Cross. Due to the coronavirus, we had to cancel our in-person procession through downtown Washington, D.C. and create an online version. Click on the link for all the details.


Photo of Pope Francis by / Korean Culture and Information Service, CC BY-SA 2.0,